KAUKAUNA, Wis. — Recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and two-time Red, White and Blue state champion Mark Martin will make his only Midwestern appearance at the ARCA Midwest Tour Forest County Potawatomi Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin Int’l Raceway on Aug. 1.
Martin, who won the first ever Dixieland race that was run at WIR in 1981, took the Midwestern short track scene by storm in the late 1970s. Martin barnstormed from state-to-state and won frequently in the ARTGO Challenge Series, the American Speed Ass’n and at WIR, where he nailed down a pair of Red, White and Blue crowns in 1985-1986.
After graduating to the NASCAR Cup Series Martin posted a storied NASCAR career in which he earned 40 victories and 56 pole positions. Martin was also named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
Retired from racing more than three and ½ years now, Martin remains as busy as he ever was.
“I did test a car at Daytona in January 2014 for Tony (Stewart) but truly I really don’t miss the racing part a lot,” Martin admitted. “When I look back on my career some of my fondest memories were my short track days in ARTGO and ASA. That included racing often in Wisconsin against guys like (Dick) Trickle, Tom Reffner, Joe Shear and Larry Detjens. There was a tremendous code of driving ethics with the Wisconsin racers. They all raced you hard but clean. And the Dixieland race at WIR was one you always wanted to run well at.”
“Mark, along with so many drivers of that era were so important to my family, and we always cheered for him to succeed on every level,” said Tour promoter Gregg McKarns. “There is such a level of excitement among all of us to welcome Mark back to his Midwest Short Track Racing home, at an event where he captured the inaugural checkered flag.”
Joining defending race winner Dennis Prunty and the stars and cars of the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment Super Late Models will be the weekly warriors of the Big 8 Late Model Series. The Dixieland race boasts the richest payout for a one-day show in Wisconsin, with $10,000 awarded to the winner.